A Question for Scottish Labour members, voters, and trade unions

Before I ask these questions, out of genuine interest. I would like to firmly state where I am asking them from.
I am a Scot who always has believed in social justice, in fair representation and rights for all people. I have also been a firm believer all my adult life in Scottish Independence, but I am not a member of, nor have any dealings with the SNP. I am as much as an Independent Scot as I am an Internationalist. I see no difficulty in holding such a position, as I believe we can be both Internationalist and still retain our sense of our own Identity and our Independence.
This is my honest position, and I hold firmly by it.

So having laid my cards firmly on the table for you to see, may I ask you some these questions which are intriguing me?

Can you tell me as Labour supporting Scots, do you really approve of the stance your party is taking on the Independence issue? Have you had much of a chance to actually discuss how your party should be approaching this very important question? Have you had your own say in the matter? Or has this all been decided without your opinion sought, and you are simply following along as sheep doing your London HQ’s bidding on behalf of the Westminster Labour leadership?
If you have had adequate input? If you have had time for discussion, If you have been kept informed? Then that is to the good. You at least will be content that the membership have had their say.
The Labour party movement was set up to represent the views of it’s workers and people, not the other other way around, where like in George Orwells famous book, The Animal Farm, the animals rose up demanding that all animals are equal, only for it to end up with the Pigs running the farm, proclaiming that all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others, and actually start doing deals with the same people to send animals to the slaughter.

If you have been a Labour supporter and activist for many a long year, then you will know as well as me the vast amount of good Labour did in supporting the common worker, the marginalised, the dispossessed.
You will have possibly lived through, or heard of the great Labour movements of the past. Labour did indeed represent the people, and the people always had their say.
Can you truly say that the Labour party of today is still that party? There has been whole scale changes of huge magnitude since Blair took over, both ideologically and in practicality.
As a former Labour member briefly myself in the late 1980′s, I cannot see how the the two parties, the Labour party and New Labour are the same anymore? New Labour in my opinion became almost a clone of Thatchers Tories! For both Blair and Brown to revere Thatcher,and have her round to tea, had me spitting obscenities in my whisky!
So are you happy with what you are hearing now? Can you really stomach Lamont cutting a mini Thatcher figure and proclaiming the end for something for nothing, and wanting to do her masters bidding to bring us in line with England? End Universal benefits..End Education Free for all, end free prescriptions, reinstate council tax hikes, end pensioners bus passes? Make weapons of mass destruction a permanent fixture.
Is this really the Labour Party? Your Party??

A question for Trade Union members, when was the last time Labour actually stood up for you?
More often than not they seem to have acted against your interests rather than for your interests.
So why are you still paying through your wages and trades union subscription for them?
It is maybe time to reconsider?

Lastly, what do you know of this movement Scottish Labour for Independence.
I really don’t know much about them at all, except that they seem to me to be made up of ordinary labour party members who are actually thinking for themselves and trying to do something.
Maybe it would be worth the while checking them out, see what they have to say?

Lastly,
Do you not believe that your socialist values stand a far better chance of being actually held and Implemented in an Independent Scotland?
If not? Why Not?
Because as far as I can see, there is not a snowballs chance in hell of them ever being implemented in the Uk, even under a Labour Government.
13 years of Blair and Brown, they carried on with Majors Tory policies, never ditched any, and the current lot say that they won’t reverse this draconian governments decisions, if they get back in. And It is a Big IF, if you ask me.
Are you actually really labour members and voters with the fight taken out of you? A sort of freakish genetically modified breed from your forebears who fought and marched for their rights.
I am truly baffled. Why do you put up with it?

To use some Reggae… Get Up, Stand Up, Stand Up for your Rights…

For goodness sake….If you are actually going to support Labour till you die….at least make it a party which it is supposed to be. One that is supposed to stand up for you!! Not for you to be at it’s beck and call and serve it mindlessly.

In fact better still in my personal opinion, make it happen for you in an Independent Scotland!
Make it truly Your party again, and in your Country!

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About auldacquaintance

I am not a member of any political party. I am however a strong supporter of Scots Independence. Any views which I express in this Blog are purely my own. This Blog intends to be a place where I will be putting my views on Scots Independence. It will primarily concern itself with the upcoming Referendum In Scotland. However It will also be somewhat diverse in the range of day to day issues which are evident to me in modern day Scotland. Not all of it will be political, and indeed may take me off into avenues I am not even aware of yet. Please come and join in on this journey, and any comments are welcome provided they are not abusive! All the best from a new acquaintance! Rod
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19 Responses to A Question for Scottish Labour members, voters, and trade unions

  1. Boorach says:

    Aye, let’s stop Labour, Working Folk and Social Justice being the biggest oxymoron in the English language.

  2. Macart says:

    Must admit AA Labour and the common working bod’s realities are moving further apart by the day. Labour were formed around a solid core of social justice and giving voice to the common working folk of the land, it was an ideal given a name. When did the name become more important than the ideal?

    I was raised in Labour mining heartland 60s and 70s, believed that British was best, had faith that our representatives looked after us. My father was a shop steward at his works for decades, you get the picture. Heroes? Look no further than Jimmy Reid. We all now vote SNP. Even I voted tactically for specific Labour candidates locally, although nationally SNP. (I was the black sheep because I was always more of the independence minded). :)

    What changed?

    We didn’t and there’s the clue. Our ideals and hopes for the future didn’t change, we still hold to free education, universal benefits, care for our elderly, our dispossessed and our infirm. For supporting the rights of the working class and the poor. Y’now, those who are rarely granted the platform to be heard. Labour was also founded on a basis of total home rule within the union, a true partnership. As far as I can see all of the founding ideals which were given a name (Labour), have been cast aside. The name, the branding, has become all important.

    • In my opinion the party left the people, not the people left the party.
      Although many many now have done, and did, including Jimmy Reid, Tommy Brennan, and some turfed out because they stood for real labour values.
      It was taken over from the inside.
      It is up to those left, who still believe in real Labour values to reclaim it. But are there enough of them to to do it?
      I am seriously beginning to very much doubt it!
      So it will be up to the ordinary labour member, and trade union member to decide for themselves what they are going to do?
      One thing for sure in my opinion, the party is not the party they once knew and believed in as it stands.
      Can it even be called Labour anymore? I don’t think so.
      A trojan horse came in, and stole the real Labour party right out from it, in front of their own noses. They may never get it back!
      The only possible way they ever could now, is to vote for Independence and take it back themselves from there.

      • Macart says:

        I think you’re right. I believe independence will be the saving of the Labour party, but only if the likes of Allan Grogan and his Labour for independence group are given a real voice, a real chance by the greater Labour membership in Scotland. They really do have to form and register a Scottish Labour party not be the Labour Party (Scotland branch).

      • I had written and suggested this to them , but I don’t think from the absence of reply that this is their intent.
        Not really by business of course, as I have no particular interest in any political party.
        However, if no party is registered there will be no Labour party nor Scottish Conservative party or Scottish Lib Dem party able to fight any any general election after a positive Independence vote, unless they subsequently do just that!
        Personally I feel the whole matter of the Constitution and how Parliament and Government will function will all have to be addressed.
        I see absolutely no good reason to keep politics being done in the British style should be retained. The whole system of government needs a radical overhaul.

  3. Macart says:

    Works for me! Lose the top down governmental system in favour of consensual politics and start from the premise of sovereignty of the people being paramount. The real brains can take it from there. :)

  4. Kate says:

    Great piece AA, & agree with both you & macart. we need a Scottish labour party, not a labour party in Scotland.

  5. Boorach says:

    I don’t see Allan Grovan and the LFI group leaving the Labour party. Not as long as being part of the party gives them access to the meetings and members.

    It’s more probable that they will eventually be ejected from the party as the hierarchy become more and more annoyed with their stance. The advantage of being expelled is that the expulsion would inevitably draw more media attention and sympathetic followers than their quietly sidling out by the fire exit.

    However it goes I wish them well.

  6. Boorach says:

    Apologies Alan Grogan

    • Macart says:

      You may have the right of it Boorach. The number of times Mr Grogan has been raised as a subject online and passed off or belittled as a minor annoyance by some LPM……… I believe they are actually quite disturbed by LFI. The real facer came last September at the March when Labour saw not only how well represented, but how well received he was by the crowd. They are terrified of creating a martyr sooooooo…., they have two choices.

      a. Ignore and hope he goes away quietly
      b. Attack and belittle the man and the group

      But he hasn’t gone away quietly and their cack handed attacks have gained sympathy for the man. His continued support by the diaspora of the independence campaign has lent weight to his arguments and he is gaining support. As per the recent article in NNS he believes he now has the numbers to put feet on the ground and help with the campaign proper. Whatever Labour leadership decide to do next will only leave them with a bigger and far more public problem. A large chunk of the Labour vote in general is what scottishskier refers to as the ‘soft no’ or ‘undecided’. They are a heartbeat away from being a truly independent Scottish Labour. They swing their vote and their sympathies the way of Mr Grogan’s arguments and they really can have their cake and eat it. My question to them is – Who do you see as leader material of the officially registered and independent Scottish Labour movement Allan Grogan or Johann Lamont?

      • Boorach says:

        With you all the way Macart, however, you could at least have offered the LPMs some sort of choice on future leadership of their party.

        Qualities for First Minister (in no particular order):
        Statesmanship
        Intelligence
        Respect
        Gravitas
        Vision

        Johan or Jim….. no contest.

        The only thing they have in common is their first initial!

  7. Macart says:

    @Boorach
    :D

  8. Boorach says:

    Some sort of ‘senior moment’ there! Where the hell did I get Jim from…… nothing at all in common.

    • Macart says:

      I reckon yer still hopin’ Jim Sillars would save the day for Labour. Remember he tried a breakaway of his own back in the day?

      God I feel old this morning! :(

  9. Jim says:

    Ah yes, Jim Sillers – a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away – eh MacArthur ?
    However, A.S. as First Minister has done a great job so far and is probably the
    top politician in these islands.
    I hoped that labour and the unions would bring forth a “third option” that would
    represent their member’s wishes and not Westminster’s orders.
    Shameful and shameless, just full of lies and ingenue and no positive action
    That is labour’s position in .Scotland.
    VOTE YES FOR INDEPENDENCE – and labour will follow the lead !

  10. Macart says:

    Very true AA, but it was still there to be picked up. I reckon the SG would have followed through on their promise of due consideration had the opposition got behind it. We all know by this point that it was a non starter due to the very nature of Westminster parties and Westminster itself, but it was always well received by the electorate. This referendum is all about the electorate and certain politicians have effectively given a huge section of the electorate a fairly public slap in the face. ‘NO! YOU CANNOT HAVE WHAT YOU WANT, NOW SIT DOWN, BE QUIET AND WE’LL TELL YOU WHAT YOU NEED’.

    I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. This is the ‘people’s referendum’ and therefore must be representative of the people’s wishes. Well over a third of the Scottish electorate favour full independence. Somewhat less than a third (around 20%) favour status quo. Again over a third favoured total autonomy within the union, they have effectively been disenfranchised by the representatives of the status quo. Worse than this, those representatives are using the FFA vote, their numbers to prop up their own vote in every media encounter. Never mind that those who favoured FFA are as heartily sick of Westminster governance as ourselves. For those who favoured FFA or are still undecided who may be viewing this blog; do not be in any doubt, Westminster or Better Together, will not give you what you want. In fact I’d go as far as stating they will hamper, halt and or take back any provisions, powers already in Holyrood’s remit.

    The decision is now very much in the hands of the devo max/FFA voter. Who do you really trust to deliver sound and appropriate governance aimed at solving problems where you live? It really is that basic a choice.

  11. Steven Syme says:

    Ac MacArt has said eloquently above, Labour have two ways of handling us in the Labour for Independence group, either “put up” or “shut up”

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